’S-HERTOGENBOSCH – After the success of the Highline in New York, green bridges have increased in popularity. Take the recently inaugurated Paleisbrug in the Netherlands – an elevated park, bicycle path and pedestrian bridge that connects the historic centre of ’s-Hertogenbosch and the newly developed urban district of Paleiswartier. Dutch architects Benthem Crouwel completed the robust bridge, overlooking the Gement, a grassland with remnants of the Eighty Years’ War.
An irregular pattern of flower beds has been placed along four 2-m-wide lanes. The architect, in cooperation with Piet Oudolf, divided the planting arrangement into three zones, each having a particular trait. Designed to be self-sufficient, the flower beds are implanted with a drip-feed watering system and an overflow pipe which moderates water levels. A floor-heating system has also been installed, designed to protect the plants and maintain a safe walkway in the winter, which dispenses heat collected during the summer.
The 250-m-long bridge is made of folded sheets of weather-proof steel which gives it a rusty-red colour. Not only is this characteristic for the Paleisbrug, it also increases the bridge’s durability. The columns, which are also clad with weather-proof steel panels to unify the aesthetic, support various sizes of trestles. To enable the bridge to cross the railway tracks without any obstruction, a supplementary trussed-joint was added on top of the deck – instead of below – to provide ample headroom for the trains.